While not as immediate as Absolute Dissent, MMXII is nonetheless just as potent and even more powerful (If that’s even possible) of an album by the ever-evolving lads in Killing Joke. MMXII marks the second time in the 21st Century Killing Joke have produced an album with the original line up intact thus proving that things only getter better with age…and smarter! Especially when you hear them incorporating the softer tones of their youth with the more apocalyptic noise that they evolved into which is sheer brilliance.
Only Killing Joke could begin an album with a nine minute epic like “Pole Shift” which brings to mind “Pandemonium” with its broad flourishes and overall atmosphere. Although it may start out timidly, with synths reminiscent of Queen’s Flash Gordon score or something out of an early Doctor Who episode, it quickly heralds the oncoming storm and the grandiose nature of MMXII. “Fema Camp” follows and is similar to “Gratitude” off 2006’s Hosannas From The Basements Of Hell as Youth and Paul Ferguson lay down a lumbering giant of intertwining bass and drums.
“Colony Collapse” just bounces as Ferguson’s massive drumming syncs with Jaz Coleman’s keyboards (And his sing-song melody interspersed with that familiar howl) while sonically, nothing beats “Trance” and the tribal pounding that heralds a very danceable apocalypse. Like “Aeon” of the often looked over Democracy, “Trance” is a thumping slab of dance metal propelled (again) by Youth and Ferguson.
The thing that is so appealing on MMXII is how much of the album is so firmly rooted in KJ’s past. Songs like “Corporate Elect” and “In Cythera” are prime examples of modern Killing Joke songs that sound as if they could’ve been off of Better Than A Thousand Suns (That one was released in 1986 kiddies!). And then there’s a song like “Rapture” which is the sound of Killing Joke firing on all cylinders where every members contribution gels perfectly in a state of euphoria.
The key component to every Killing Joke album is , of course, the uncanny voice of frontman Coleman and guitarist Geordie Walker’s trademark tones both of which are in peak form on MXMII. Content-wise it’s all the apocalypse and anti-corporations but with lots of Killing Joke albums, sometimes it’s just great to sit back and let the music move you. Easily one of the Top 5 albums in Killing Joke’s catalog, MMXII encapsulates the spirit of Killing Joke pristinely and makes a compelling argument as to why the original line-up should never part ways again.
MMXII is out now overseas. Get yours here. A U.S. release is planned within the coming months.
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